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Familie Floz – the masked German troupe that conquered the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Gianni Bettucci

After selling out previous shows at Edinburgh, Familie Floz is back with Infinita, as manager Gianni Bettucci tells Nick Awde

Have you often performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

We’ve been many times before. Familie Floz seems to have become a fixture and it’s great to have built a faithful audience that comes to see each new show we bring to the fringe. We’ve been touring Infinita since 2006, but we’ve never performed it at Edinburgh. We come back year after year to establish international contacts that result in dates and tours around the world. Also, we’re fortunate to get good box office. 

Was choosing a venue hard?

We’ve been with the Pleasance for a number of years. This year we are performing at the Grand, one of the largest spaces at the fringe. It’s a gamble, but we’ve prepared our PR strategy very thoroughly.

What are the pros and cons of long and short runs?

For us it has always made sense to perform for the whole of the fringe run. But talk to us at the end of August to see if anything has changed. 

How does Edinburgh differ from the fringe in Germany?

It is completely different, but then the Edinburgh is different from any other fringe around the world. Every festival is different and certainly at home we have nothing that compares with the international exposure that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe tantalisingly offers – potentially, anyway.

Are Edinburgh audiences different from back home?

We’re a collective based in Berlin but we perform around the world. It is difficult to generalise, but I’d say British audiences are not as restrained as they are said to be, for which we’re thankful.

How do festivals compare with a normal theatre run?

Get-ins and get-outs are notoriously tight at Edinburgh. And during a normal theatre run you are typically noticed by the local media, while at the fringe, even established acts are just one in an often baffling ocean of offerings. 

How does Edinburgh help you in terms of the next step back home?

As Infinita is so well-oiled now, I don’t expect this run to have any effect on our reputation back home. We already have tours in the pipeline in Chile and Argentina, and hope to generate interest and finalise dates in many other countries in the world.

Is Edinburgh worth the investment?

Only if you take a long view and consider it a way to be seen. If you break even, consider yourself very lucky. We’ve had some excellent reviews – although a few more would not go amiss – but the focus is really to consolidate our local audience and to establish new international contacts.

Infinita runs at Pleasance Courtyard [1] from August 2 to 27 [2]